Welcome to a new weekly post that I will call Metal Mondays, where I will rank the albums of a certain artist in the metal and hard rock genre from worst to best. As I am a list and ranking person, I am unable to have a simple discussion on what a band’s good albums are, as well as their not-so-good ones. I must rank them in some sort of order, or I will not be able to participate! This also makes for a fun debate, don’t you think?
NOTE: I will rank full length STUDIO ALBUMS only. There will be no live records, greatest hits, or EP’s here.
I understand it may not be totally metal, but this week I am ranking Foo Fighter albums. The Foos are an alternative rock/post-grunge band, with elements of hard rock and pop rock, so they are close enough to the bands I have covered in weeks past. Furthermore, I am honoring the late Taylor Hawkins, the band’s drummer since the late nineties who tragically passed away in March.
The Foo Fighters started as a one-man project by Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl, who found himself without a band following the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. In fact, Grohl sang and played all the instruments on the 1995 debut record. Eventually, Grohl collaborated with other musicians, with the long-time line-up consisting of Grohl on vacals/guitars, Hawkins on drums, Nate Mendel on bass, Pat Smear on guitar, Rami Jaffee on keyboards, as well as guitarist Chris Shifflet.
Although the album features standout tracks, All My Life and Times Like These, as well as the heavy, Low, there is a lot of filler on the record, which makes One by One the worst of the bunch.
Best Song: All My Life
Best Deep Cut: Come Back
The first album to feature Hawkins, it provides the listener the hit Learn to Fly, as well as the outstanding Stacked Actors. Meanwhile, Breakout and Next Year were minor hits. As is the case with One by One, there is enough filler material to keep this record from climbing higher on this list.
Best Song: Stacked Actors
Best Deep Cut: Gimme Stitches
A double album, In Your Honor contains the harder rock material on disc one, while disc two is full of acoustic tracks. If anything, you must applaud the band for changing things up a bit. Disc one is the better of the two, and features the smash hit Best of You, as well as No Way Back, DOA, and the title cut. Virginia Moon and Cold Day in the Sun highlight the second disc.
Best Song: Best of You
Best Deep Cut: In Your Honor
The band’s debut is actually a one-man band, save for a couple of minor collaborators. Grohl does it all on this one. The record is steeped in the grunge style of Grohl’s previous outfit, Nirvana, as he had yet to transform his sound into what became the gazillion dollar outfit the Foos are today. There are a couple of classics on this one, This is a Call and Big Me (Mentos anyone?).
Best Song: This is a Call
Best Deep Cut: Alone + Easy Target
While the latter-day Foo Fighters albums might not contain an anthemic single, there is still plenty of solid music to discover. Case in point, Run, The Sky is a Neighborhood, Sunday Rain, and The Line, all highlights of this 2017 offering.
Best Song: Sunday Rain
Best Deep Cut: Sunday Rain
The final album to feature drummer Taylor Hawkins, Medicine at Midnight is a tidy 9-song, 36-minute collection that proves the band still has plenty left in the tank, if, sadly, they must carry on without their longtime skinsman.
Best Song: Cloudspotter
Best Deep Cut: Cloudspotter
It seems like every Foo Fighters album features a classic song, and this one is no different with The Pretender. Meanwhile, Let it Die, Long Road to Ruin, Come Alive, Stanger Things Have Happened, and Statues make up a strong record.
Best Song: The Pretender
Best Deep Cut: Come Alive
Again, hand it to the band for going outside the box. On Sonic Highways, they travelled to eight different cities (the album contains eight tracks), and interviewed musicians, producers, and engineers to learn more about the musical history in each city. Collaborators on the record include Rick Nielson (Cheap Trick), Zac Brown, and Joe Walsh.
Best Song: Congregation
Best Deep Cut: I Am a River
The first Foo Fighters album as a full band, The Colour and the Shape includes guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Nate Mendel, and drummer William Goldsmith. The record features huge radio hits that catapulted the group into superstar status; Everlong, Monkey Wrench, and My Hero, while also containing strong deep cuts such as, My Poor Brain, Up in Arms, and February Stars.
Best Song: Everlong
Best Deep Cut: My Poor Brain
Do you want singalong, anthemic radio tracks? These Days and Walk provide that for you. Hard driving rockers? Try Bridge Burning, Rope, and White Limo. A haunting ballad? I Should Have Known shall suffice. Other shifty and catchy rock and roll tunes? Dear Rosemary, Back and Forth and Miss the Misery will do the trick. Simply put, Wasting Light is by far the greatest collection of songs by the Foo Fighters and remains the gold standard for which they have yet (but have come close) to achieve.
Best Song: Miss the Misery
Best Deep Cut: Miss the Misery